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Twenty-three-year-old to be charged with unlicensed Bitcoin dealing tied to online scams

A 23-year-old Singaporean will be charged with unlicensed Bitcoin dealing, with the alleged transactions tied to proceeds from victims of online scams.

The woman is the first person here to be charged under the Payment Services Act 2019 for carrying on a business of providing payment services without a licence, a statement from the Singapore Police Force on Tuesday said.

The police said that between Feb 27 and 28 this year, the woman had allegedly provided a digital payment token service by receiving at least 13 fraudulent fund transfers amounting to S$3,350 in her bank account, which was then used to purchase Bitcoin.

These alleged transactions were done on the instruction of an unknown person in return for a commission. The funds deposited in her bank account turned out to be proceeds of crime from victims of online scams, the statement said.

The 23-year-old does not have a licence to carry on a business of providing any types of payment services in Singapore and is not an exempt payment service provider under the Payment Service Act 2019. She will be charged in court on Wednesday under Section 5 of the Payment Services Act 2019.

For individuals, the offence is punishable with a fine of up to S$125,000 or imprisonment for a term of up to three years, or both.

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